How many of you have honest customer reviews of your products and services on review sites? Here, we are not referring to the cherry-picked customer testimonials that sing praises about how your products changed their life. We are talking about genuine, realistic and a mix of good and bad reviews that add transparency to your business.
Now, imagine the buying process of your potential customers. When choosing a product, what will make them choose yours over your competitors’? Other than the usual criteria of price and location, what will catch their attention? Well, they will want to know if your products and services are actually good. Your potential customers may want to interact with actual users of your products before believing your claims. This is where customer reviews can help them make a decision. When it comes to choosing a product or a brand, customer reviews play a key role. For more than 88 percent of consumers, online reviews are as reliable as personal recommendations, revealed a BrightLocal survey.
Review sites such as Yelp and Yellow Pages make it easy for customers to write and share experiences about different products and services. Online reviews can make new customers buy your product by giving honest feedback about it. The reviews can make or break your brand as they depict the level of trust your customers have about your brand. More positive reviews indicate better credibility for your business.
Here are some of the top reasons customer reviews on review sites are important for your business:
1. Social proof: Most of the customer review sites attract a lot potential customers who are seeking information on brands or products. So when they see actual users praising or criticizing a product, they pay attention. Humans are programmed to make decisions based on the advice of others. We feel safe in a group. So when we see many users recommending a brand, we tend to go for it.
2. Improved consumer engagement: Customer review sites tend to become social communities where consumers leave feedback and keep coming back to see if others have responded to their comments. Or they simply want see what other users have to say about a particular product or service. This creates a social community that allows consumers to form a bond with the brand and other consumers.
3. SEO boost: Currently, Google shows the top-three most influential businesses for any search. However, when multiple local brands meet the search criteria, Google looks up online reviews to determine the top-three businesses for that search. Customer reviews are believed to be the fifth-most important search-engine ranking factor. Businesses that get more reviews are more likely to hit the top-three spot.
4. Better customer service: Customer reviews can tell you what your customers like or dislike. Paying attention to the needs and experiences of your customers will lead to better business credibility, increased sales and enhanced customer service. Customer feedback can help you make appropriate changes to your product line and ensure that your products exceed the expectations of end users.
5. Increased sales: Customers will happily pay a higher amount for a product that is rated “excellent” on review sites. Increased sales will impact your business’ bottom line. Considering how much impact positive reviews have on the bottom line of a business, every business owner needs to value and encourage online reviews.